(Photo: NASCAR)

Jimmy Mullis Glides Over the Chaos at the Magic Mile

For many drivers, it wasn’t a magical night in the Coca-Cola iRacing Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. However, it was smooth sailing for Richmond Raceway eSports driver Jimmy Mullis.

Mullis took the lead from polesitter Graham Bowlin on lap 42 and never looked back, taking the victory at the Magic Mile.

”This is incredible,” Mullis said after the race. “This has to be the absolute best performance I’ve ever had personally in this series. … We nailed it this week on the setup and it was on rails. I got nervous there at the end, it got pretty hectic with the yellows but I was able to close it out. I’m speechless at this point.”

Mullis won by a wide margin in overtime over second-place finisher Matt Bussa. William Byron eSports pilot Nick Ottinger was third, Bowlin took fourth and Michael Conti rounded out the top five.

Logan Clampitt had a strong result in sixth, and Ryan Luza, who was involved in several incidents, battled back to seventh place. Ray Alfalla, Corey Vincent and Bobby Zalenski completed the top 10 finishers.

The event was riddled with cautions from beginning to the end. One of these occurred on lap nine, when Clint Bowyer Racing’s Brandon Kettelle went around after contact from Jeremy Allen and Luza. Keegan Leahy spun around a few laps after the restart, but no harm was done and he was able to continue.

Then on lap 63 the yellow flag waved again for Chris Overland’s single-car spin. The first round of lead lap pit stops came during this period, though Santiago Tirres missed his stall and had to come back down pit lane.

Cautions tend to breed cautions, however, and such was the case on lap 71 when Dylan Duval was tagged by his Stewart-Haas eSports teammate Justin Bolton.

The team’s Twitter account shared Bolton’s thoughts about the incident: “Everyone is fighting for the bottom and it stacked up. There wasn’t much I could do.”

Possibly the save of the year occurred when Blake Reynolds was tagged from behind and turned. Though Reynolds regained control of the car, the caution still came out and bunched the field up once more.

Later, Tirres got into the rear of Bob Bryant’s car, which sent Bryant spinning with 38 laps remaining. Tirres immediately apologized over the radio for the contact, and the next round of pit stops went underway during this caution period.

Shortly after the next restart, a bigger incident happened when John Gorlinsky got spun in traffic. Casey Kirwan had then spun on the inside and Gorlinsky ended up slamming Eric Smith’s driver side door, pushing him against the wall.

Then the Big One came with just 20 laps to go. Luza bumped someone from behind, causing a melee on the track. Brad Davies, Christian Challiner, Nathan Lyon, Ashton Crowder and several others were involved in this wreck.

Luza later tweeted:

A few more cautions came out for spins and wrecks, including one with less than two to go that sent the field into overtime. Mullis held strong, though, and won his first race of 2020.

The Coca-Cola iRacing Series next event is at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday, July 28. Coverage begins shortly after 9 p.m. ET on eNASCAR.com/live and iRacing’s YouTube page.

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